kisrael.com | archive | 2010 jul | on pint glasses and the ephemerality of things

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(2) on pint glasses and the ephemerality of things
2010.07.25
From my friend Sumana's Blog:

When Leonard and I first moved in together, I asked him to get rid of those big pint glasses he had. They were chipped and scratched, but that's not what I minded. I just didn't like dealing with glass, because glass breaks. Anything glass is on loan from a jealous God. I feared the inevitable smashes, so goodbye glasses.

Years passed.

Somewhen I found myself thinking, so what if the glass breaks? There's a saying that you must drink from the cup as though it is already broken. Maybe I'd just had enough hard knocks to appreciate ephemeral joy and function for what they are, instead of clutching them so hard they fall apart. Maybe I'd had enough hard knocks to know that I won't fall apart even if a glass does.

There's a Jorge Luis Borges quote:

Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.
So now I've bought a few commemorative pint glasses, on trips. One from Pacific Standard. One from Borderlands. One, from an art shop in Providence, featuring two astronauts in love.

We drink water from them, mostly. The clear round glass admits light, lenses it, lets me see a dream of what's on the other side.

They are for him. They are for us. They are for me. They are whole, and someday they will be broken. Not "but," but "and." But I chose them, so I can distantly imagine even cherishing the memory of their deaths.


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